All news

Unidentified arsonists torching Crimea’s forests, official says

Arson turned out to be the cause of at least two last year's large forest fires, near Yalta and Stary Krym

SIMFEROPOL, March 21. /TASS/. Unknown individuals are intentionally setting forests ablaze on the Crimean Peninsula. Arson turned out to be the cause of at least two large forest fires near Yalta and Stary Krym last year, Crimea’s Deputy Environmental and Natural Resources Minister Sergei Kompaneitsev said on Thursday.

"The people, who committed arson there - and it is arson - also committed two more cases of arson on the same day. One, on the territory of the Crimean natural preserve, and two more arson attacks in the Yalta mountain forest preserve along the way. They did this on the day of celebrating the city of Yalta," Kompaneitsev said, detailing a large forest fire near Yalta last year.

Criminal charges into the blazes are being filed, the deputy minister said. "A criminal case has been launched there and investigative measures are underway. The individuals who committed this knew the terrain very well and the wind pattern and from where the blaze would spread," Kompaneitsev stressed.

The largest forest fire near the town of Stary Krym last year was also initiated deliberately, engulfing an area of 41 hectares, the official noted.

"Video cameras have been installed there and this helped in [promptly] responding to it. We have a video confirming, which car drove into there when the fire started, that is, it was arson there," Kompaneitsev emphasized.

People have come across tires soaked with gasoline in the forests, he added.

"The situation is quite tense," he said.